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Mobiles are defining today's business communications, but how do you get the best from your business mobile investment?

The use of mobiles for business is predicted to grow with mobile data volumes estimated to increase by 25% year on year to 2020 This growth will take mobile in many different directions.

A lot of growth will come from the types of data mobile users consume. New file formats and an appetite for streamed videos, place new demands on data coverage and network performance. By 2021, mobile data is projected to account for 20% of total internet traffic!

Whilst these numbers are exciting to consider, what does it all mean for business?

Digital transformation is blurring the lines between technologies, workplaces and different business ‘ecosystems’. Mobile technology plays a pivotal role in putting businesses on a digital path, but there are also many practical benefits to choosing the right mobile services for your business.

At some point in the day, all business users are using mobiles in one way or another. In some instances, this usage increases significantly. For example, 72% of Managing Directors using mobile email on a daily basis [average 62%] and 60% of mobile users in the professional services sector use Social media [average 52%].

Most of what we do with mobile is done without thinking. It just works. But as a business leader, you want to get the most from your mobile service and make a real difference to the workplace. To achieve this goal, there are five things to consider:

1. Flexible Connections

Balancing these requirements is easy when choosing a phone for personal use, but company-wide decisions have to factor in many different user needs. The three core elements of your mobile service are defined by flexibility:

  • The Network
  • The Devices
  • The Tariffs

Balancing these requirements is easy when choosing a phone for personal use, but company-wide decisions have to factor in many different user needs. A common challenge is that an entire mobile policy, or decision can be driven by one influential group, for example, high usage teams of sales people. Over- specifying a contract can be costly, so it is inevitable that your company will seek control over the contract mix.

A key trend in this area is SIM only deals. They are increasingly popular because of the simple cost and flexibility benefits they offer. End users can specify a device, devices are not tied to contracts and functionality can be adjusted to needs.

2. Business Features

Most mobile network providers spend more time managing consumer traffic than business data. Mobile is a consumer world, first. But whilst people are busy sending holiday pics or Tweeting on their phones, you are trying to grow your business. Your mobile provider needs to recognise that.

What does that mean in practice?

A customer leaves you a long voicemail about a change request on a critical project. It times out! You haven’t got the storage facility for extended voicemail. A business-grade mobile service ensures that can never happen.

It’s 6pm and you are sending files to your colleagues in the US as they start the working day. You are on the move, trying to get home in rush hour. It’s a peak time for business. But the network is slow because business peaks are not the whole story for consumer-focused service providers. A business-grade mobile service is optimised for business peaks.

3. Fit for Business

With the choice that flexibility brings, there is also the requirement to tailor services to your needs. You want the best of both worlds.

The challenge for mobile service providers is knowing the difference between flexibility and tailoring. A ‘reversible jacket’ is flexible. It adjusts to your needs, but it is not tailored to your size, specifically. A tailored jacket fits you perfectly, but doesn’t adapt to your needs.

Services such as voicemail notifications tailored to specific customers is a simple but significant mobile feature. It’s tailored to your needs. It shows you care.

How about bolt on tariffs and services for different work groups within the business. This helps with productivity and also lets your employees or colleagues know you are listening.

And as security and compliance requirements become increasingly more important, working with a provider than can implement Mobile Device Management (MDM), offers a more effective way to manage your mobile estate and application usage.

4. Smart Digital for Tomorrow

Business communications is changing. Our ‘Transformation Game’ research show that 84% of UK businesses believe way we communicate is rapidly changing as a result of digital transformation.

Seemingly, digital transformation is not a goal, but a mindset and a way of approaching business. It means you have to move forward with digital in mind.

So much of the digital story points towards increased collaboration and visibility of people, processes and technology. Therefore, your mobile service should offer smart protection for lost devices, usage tracking and sophisticated management portals that deliver network visibility and reporting.

Knowing this is in place today provides the best starting point for a solid future roadmap of service development. It gives you piece of mind that your mobile ‘mindset’ is digital-ready.

5. Your Mobile Partner

Your mobile partner has to work with your needs in mind at all times. A mobile service that stands apart by combining a dedicated, business-only mobile network, designed for you is vital. We offer coverage improvement for ‘cold spots’ in the UK using Multinet, a converged fixed-mobile solution utilising our award-winning hosted voice platform and dedicated account management for businesses of all sizes.

Growing businesses benefit from partners that stand by them every day to provide good service. But great partners also keep an eye on what’s ahead and how they can anticipate your future requirements. It’s what help you create a service advantage in your own businesses. Our mobile service is built around this approach.

Summary

There has never been a better, more exciting time for mobile services. The landscape of service providers is evolving away from traditional choices, and the opportunities presented by mobile have never been more relevant to business growth. We look forward to joining you as you get down to mobile business.

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